Thursday, 24 October 2013

Flash Report: Oxford Nanopore is announcing an early access program for its MinIon nanopore sequencer

The MinION is a USB stick (!!!) DNA sequencer announced by Oxford Nanopore Technologies about one year and a half ago. The company, which is currently exhibiting at the American Society of Human Genetics, yesterday announced the launch of the MinION Access Program.
More details in this GenomeWeb article as well as on this post on Nick Loman's blog. Interesting insights into the DNA sample preparation have been posted on the Future Continuous blog.

MinION Access Programme
In late November, Oxford Nanopore will open registration for a MinION Access Programme (MAP – product preview). This is a substantial but initially controlled programme designed to give life science researchers access to nanopore sequencing technology at no risk and minimal cost.
MAP participants will be at the forefront of applying a completely novel, long-read, real-time sequencing system to existing and new application areas. MAP participants will gain hands-on understanding of the MinION technology, its capabilities and features. They will also play an active role in assessing and developing the system over time. Oxford Nanopore believes that any life science researcher can and should be able to exploit MinION in their own work. Accordingly, Oxford Nanopore is accepting applications for MAP participation from all1, 2.
About the programme
A substantial number of selected participants will receive a MinION Access programme package. This will include:
* At least one complete MinION system (device, flowcells and software tools).
* MAP participants will be asked to pay a refundable $1,000 deposit on the MinION USB device, plus shipping.
* Oxford Nanopore will provide a regular baseline supply of flowcells sufficient to allow frequent usage of the system. MAP participants will ONLY pay shipping costs on these flowcells. Any additional flowcells required at the participants’ discretion may be available for purchase at a MAP-only price of $999 each plus shipping and taxes.
* Oxford Nanopore will provide Sequencing Preparation Kits. MAP participants may choose to develop their own sample preparation and analysis methods; however, at this stage on an unsupported basis.
What are the terms of the MAP agreement?
Participation in the MAP product preview program will require participants to sign up to an End User License Agreement (EULA) and simple terms intended to allow Oxford Nanopore to further develop the utility of the products, applications and customer support while also maximising scientific benefits for MAP participants. Further details will be provided when registration opens, however in outline:
* MAP participants will be invited to provide Oxford Nanopore with feedback regarding their experiences through channels provided by the company.
* All used flow cells are to be returned to Oxford Nanopore3.
* MAP participants will receive training and support through an online participant community and support portal.
* MAP participants will go through an initial restricted ‘burn-in’ period, during which test samples will be run and data shared with Oxford Nanopore. After consistent and satisfactory performance has been achieved under pre-agreed criteria, the MAP participants will be able to conduct experiments with their own samples. Data can be published whilst participants are utilising the baseline supply of flowcells.
* MAP participants or Oxford Nanopore may terminate participation in the programme at any time, for any reason. Deposits will be refunded after all of the MAP hardware is returned.
* MAP participants will be the first to publish data from their own samples. Oxford Nanopore does not intend to restrict use or dissemination of the biological results obtained by participants using MinIONs to analyse their own samples. Oxford Nanopore is interested in the quality and performance of the MiniION system itself.
* Oxford Nanopore intends to give preferential status for the GridION Access Programme (GAP) when announced to successful participants in the MinION access programme.
* The MinION software will generate reports on the quality of each experiment and will be provided to Oxford Nanopore only to facilitate support and debugging.
Registration process
Registration will open in late November for a specific and limited time period. Oxford Nanopore will operate a controlled release of spaces on the programme.
MAP participants will be notified upon acceptance to the programme. They will then able to review and accept the EULA before providing the refundable deposit and joining the programme. MAP participants will then receive a login for the participant support portal and a target delivery date for their MinION(s) and initial flow cells.
The online participant support portal will provide training materials, FAQs, support and other information such as data examples from Oxford Nanopore. It will also include a community forum to allow participants to share experiences.
Who can join?
Anybody who is not affiliated with competitors of Oxford Nanopore. Strong preference will be given to biologists/researchers working within the field of applied NGS where long reads, simple workflow, low costs, and real time analysis can be shown to make a key difference. Preference may also be given to individuals/sites opting for multiple MinIONs. If the programme is oversubscribed, some element of fairly applied random selection may be used to further prioritise participants.
1. If you would like us to keep you informed of the opening of this registration please visit our contact page and select the box marked ‘Keep me informed on the MinION Access programme’.
2. The MinION system is for Research Use Only
3. Flowcells can be easily, quickly and thoroughly washed through with water and dried before return.

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